Honor Code (on the rail) was the individual favorite at the end of the second pool of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager (Photo courtesy of NYRA/Coglinese).
The second round of Kentucky Derby future wagering came to an end on Saturday, giving off the impression that the next winner of the Run for the Roses is currently shrouded in obscurity.
The mutuel field of every 3-year-old except the 23 individual wagering options was the 3-2 favorite, which came in at lower odds than a year ago during wagering in the same time frame. The field was sent off at 8-5 odds a year ago, when the enormous grouping included the eventual Derby winner, Orb.
A year ago, Verrazano topped the individual entries at 11-1 while that honor went to Honor Code this year at a slightly higher 12-1. Shared Belief, the reigning 2-year-old champ, was sent off at 14-1.
SHARED BELIEF WENT OFF AT 14-1 IN THIS YEAR'S SECOND POOL
Photo courtesy of Benoit & Associates
The odds on the top contenders are similar to last year and so is the sense that the Derby winner has yet to blossom.
It’s a logical attitude considering that the two top prospects at the start of the year, Shared Belief and Remsen winner Honor Code, have suffered minor setbacks that have delayed their 3-year-old debuts.
While both horses are still on the Triple Crown trail, smooth sailing from January to May is generally viewed as the best way to navigate a path to the winners’ circle on the first Saturday in May. Wagering on them now, a little less than three months before the race, carries the kind of risk that weakens the appeal of those double-digit odds.
Cairo Prince, who won the Holy Bull decisively after losing by a nose in the Remsen, and Top Billing, who has yet to race in a stakes, were both priced at 13-1 and maybe they will exert themselves more in the weeks ahead.
For now, races like the Fountain of the Youth later this month at Gulfstream, might uncover a new player, as it did a year ago with Orb.
Meanwhile, one interesting aspect of this year’s wager is that betting closed before the weekend’s lone Derby prep, the Robert B. Lewis.
Candy Boy, sent off at 2-1 in the Grade 2 stakes, won by a half-length. His price in the future wagering is a rather healthy 32-1, offering great value, even at a time when snowmen are still flourishing.
CANDY BOY'S 32-1 ODDS LOOK GOOD AFTER HIS ROBERT B. LEWIS VICTORY
Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire